The Bakken Shale: Fracking in North Dakota

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about the Dakota Access Pipeline, mostly about the negative affect it will have on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but most people don’t know anything about its relationship to the Bakken oil field in North Dakota.

The Bakken Shale: Fracking in North Dakota

We have heard a lot about the Dakota Access Pipeline, mostly about the over the effect it will have on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but most people don’t know anything about its relationship to the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota.  It is important to understand the relationship between the two.

For the past several years, there has been an oil boom happening in the state of North Dakota.  This oil boom is because of oil that was discovered in what is called the Bakken Shale, or the Bakken Shale formation.  The Bakken Shale formation is a large deposit of shale containing oil that is in eastern Shale Montana, Western North Dakota, and part of Saskatchewan, in Canada.

Even though the so-called Bakken oil boom has the potential to create jobs and puts more revenue into the economy of North Dakota, it also poses a significant threat to the environment of that region.  To mention that the oil produced in the Bakken Shale formation will create a necessity to lay a pipeline to help transportation of this oil to where it can be refined into different products.  The Dakota Access Pipeline is being built to carriers oil from the Bakken Shale Formation.

As we know, this pipeline threatens the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and other people living in that particular region because it will be necessary to build this pipeline under the Missouri River, upon which many depend on for their water supply.  Also, this pipeline will also pose a threat to the underground aquifer that is also the supply of a significant amount of water to this region.

To produce oil from the Bakken Shale, it will be necessary for the oil companies to use the controversial and environmentally dangerous technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or just known as fracking.

There has been a huge controversy over fracking, to the point where it has been banned in a couple of states and is the source of large-scale protest across the nation.

Fracking has proven itself to be harmful because it requires the consumption of massive quantities of water and the use of many toxic chemicals, which are pumped underground to force oil from the Bakken Shale.  The use of fracking is a major reason that environmentalists are opposed to further development of the Bakken oil field.

At a time when our nation is trying to end its dependency on fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal, further developing the Bakken oil field flies in the face of our need to divorce ourselves from fossil fuels.

 

THE DEATH OF THE BAKKEN FIELD HAS BEGUN: Big Trouble For …

Sep 17, 2016 Rune Likvern of Fractional Flow has done a wonderful job providing data on the Bakken Shale Oil Field. Here is his excellent chart showing the …
Bakken Shale News, Wells, Formation, Markets and Resources: Oil …

Bakken Shale Image The Bakken shale is primarily an oil play. It straddles the US border with Canada and runs through two states – North Dakota and Montana …

 

Betsy DeVos Confirmed, and IDEA Website Crashes.  Just a Coincidence? HMM!

Lawmakers are demanding answers from the U.S. Department of Education after a key government special education website went down.

Source: Senators Want Answers On IDEA Website Outage – Disability Scoop

Betsy DeVos Confirmed, and IDEA Website Crashes.  Just a Coincidence? HMM!

Even before Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Secretary of Education, despite protests from disability rights and education advocates, the link leading to information about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mysteriously crashed.  This begs the question, was the crash of this vital link, just a coincidence?  Or, was it a subtle message to the disability community that our needs are going to be giving no priority under the Trump administration?  Unfortunately, I suspect the latter option may be the answer.

One of the main reasons that such stiff opposition met the appointment of Betsy DeVos was that many people are concerned that her knowledge of disability issues, and other matters about public education, were sorely lacking.  When she was questioned during her confirmation hearings about the IDEA, she just drew a blank stare and tried to avoid the question.

It was very apparent to anyone who saw the confirmation hearing that Betsy DeVos was clueless about what the IDEA was, or its significance to people with disabilities.  When she was pressed on the question of the IDEA, Betsy DeVos tried to divert the questionnaire by saying, “these matters are best left to the States.”  This answer was ridiculous!

Anyone who knows anything about the IDEA knows that it was a federal mandate passed in 1974 that guarantees people with disabilities, an equal chance at an equal education.  To me personally, it was one of the primary reasons that I was able to attend college back in Pennsylvania in the late 70s.  She should’ve known that, especially since she is the person who will be in charge of educating this country’s children, even those with disabilities.

Betsy DeVos is nothing more than just another one of Donald Trump’s unqualified members of his cabinet.  She joins the ranks of quite a few others, in this respect.

 

Six astonishing things Betsy DeVos said — and refused to say — at …

Jan 18, 2017 At her contentious confirmation hearing as Donald Trump’s nominee to be education secretary on Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was asked a question …
Betsy DeVos Wants to Use America’s Schools to Build “God’s …

Betsy DeVos Wants to Use America’s Schools to Build “God’s Kingdom”. Trump’s education secretary pick has spent a lifetime working to end public education …

 

 

Kelcy Warren is not Will Rogers, Despite What His Friends Say

The bittersweet ballad of Kelcy Warren.

Source: The billionaire CEO behind the Dakota Access Pipeline would rather be talking about country music

Kelcy Warren Is Not Will Rogers, Despite What His Friends Say

Kelcy WarrenKelcy Warren, founder, and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), builder of the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline is not Will Rogers, despite what his friend say.

He is just another wealthy billionaire with too much money and influence.  What he is trying to do to the Standing Rock Sioux is unconscionable and uncaring.  He represents everything that is wrong about the relationship between whites and Native Americans.

Kelcy Warren has used his power and influence to get his way, far too often. He has spent billions of dollars in campaign contributions to some of the lowest of the low, including Rick Perry and present governor of Texas, Greg Abbott.  In fact, he contributed $750,000 to Abbott’s campaign for governor of Texas, and the game nearly $6 million to PACS supporting Rick Perry’s run for president.  Kelcy Warren apparently thinks it’s okay to throw way more money than many small countries just to get his way.  He is the capitalist I hate.

Kelcy Warren displays a split personality or else maybe it would be better called, two-faced.  He denies digging up the bones of ancestors of The Standing Rock Sioux, even though he has done just exactly that.  At some points, he almost seems apologetic to the Standing Rock Sioux, while at the same time continuing to keep on digging the pipeline.

Kelcy Warren has even equated the tribe and its supporters as “terrorists,” even though it’s his people that have attacked these people mercilessly with dogs, tear gas, and clubs.  Even though none of the opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline has resorted to any violence, other than to raise their hands in self-defense, Kelcy Warren has used his political connections to cause bodily harm to many of these people.

His friends, whether bought or just friends, likes as if he Kelcy Warren has almost some type of “folk hero” just because he writes country music and listen to it.  To depict Kelcy Warren as though he was akin to Will Rogers is a great insult to a great American.  Kelcy Warren is nothing more than just another rich bully tried to have his way and make money, at the expense of Mother Nature.

 

Who is Kelcy Warren, the Texas Billionaire and Folk Music Fan …

Nov 3, 2016 We look at the Texas billionaire behind the Dakota Access pipeline: Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners. Described by …
Dallas’ Kelcy Warren says Dakota Access protesters need the facts …

Nov 11, 2016 Kelcy Warren, CEO of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, says he is both confident that his company’s Dakota Access pipeline will be …

 

 

Fascist Tactics Used Against Senator Elizabeth Warren on Senate Floor

 

Fascist Tactics Used Against Senator Elizabeth Warren on Senate Floor

Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren was prevented from speaking in master opposition to the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General. It looks as though the fascism that has taken over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has spread down the street to the U.S. Congress.

When she tried to read the text of a letter written by Coretta Scott King, in her opposition to Jeff Sessions for appointment to a Federal Judgeship, Senator Elizabeth Warren was forced to stop her speech by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell chose to use an old rule to prevent Senator Warren from speaking.

The old rule, known as “Rule 9”, which says that “one Senator cannot impugn the reputation of another member of the Senate” was pulled out of McConnell’s bag of tricks in his, unfortunately, successful attempt to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren.

After she then objected to the old rule being used to stop her from speaking, Senator Elizabeth Warren appealed to the presiding officer for a ruling. Unfortunately, he upheld Mitch McConnell’s fascism and Senator Warren was forced to step away from the podium.

As far as impugning Jeff Sessions reputation, that is something that is very easy to do. He has no reputation, except that of a racist who does not deserve to be allowed to have a seat in such a high place as Attorney General. His record of racist behavior goes way back many years. He is unfit to serve as this country’s Attorney General because he will not be able to be fair because of his racist past, which is well-documented.

Using an old rule to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren was wrong. Mitch McConnell shows himself to be a total hypocrite and using it to silence her. After all, we were forced to watch him treat President Obama with a total lack of respect for eight years. For him to prevent Senator Elizabeth Warren from reading the text of a letter written by the window of a Great American like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is not only a travesty but a tactic more suited to a fascist.

I have included a link to the text of the letter written by Coretta Scott King, for your convenience.

Coretta Scott King’s Letter

Since yesterday, Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next Attorney General of the United States.

 

Republican Senators Vote to Formally Silence Elizabeth Warren …

22 hours ago Senator Elizabeth Warren was accused of impugning a peer when she condemned Senator Jeff Sessions’s nomination for attorney general …
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1 day ago Warren was reading a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King about Sessions.

 

Veterans Stand in Solidarity With Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Most of the A group of U.S. military veterans has vowed to block the completion of the hotly disputed Dakota Access pipeline.

Source: Standing Rock: Dakota Access battle brews as US veterans, Sioux dig in

Veterans Stand in Solidarity With Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

A group of military veterans, named Veterans Stand,  is standing in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux, in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  The organization, known as Veterans Stand, is vowing to help the Standing Rock Sioux defend their tribal lands against the incursion of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the builders of the very controversial pipeline which threatens the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux.

A couple of days ago, The Secretary of the Army granted the necessary easement to ETP so that they could continue building the Dakota Access Pipeline.  As if no one would notice, the secretary of the Army does not have the power or authority to order the US Army Corps of Engineers to do anything.  Previously, the US Army Corps of Engineers suggested that the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline could easily be rerouted to avoid going near the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux.

Before, when President Obama was still in power, ETP was denied the easement the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  At first, people thought that they had won their struggle against the pipeline.  However, all of that changed when Donald Trump became president. President Trump has reopened this entire mess.

Last week, President Donald Trump issued an executive order, saying that the Dakota Access Pipeline will continue to be built.  President Trump is guilty of a direct conflict of interest because it has been shown that Donald Trump owns a financial investment in ETP. This is one detail that the media has unfortunately failed to mention. If he had anything resembling a set of ethics, he would recuse himself from being involved. Even though spokespeople for the Trump administration say that he has divested himself of any interest in the pipeline, there is no proof of any divestment on the part of the POTUS.

I wish Veterans Stand all the best in their efforts to save the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux.  Veterans Stand has established a GoFundMe page at the following link.  Please contribute!

 

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Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Donald Trump: Who Wins?

Arnold Schwarzenegger vs. Donald Trump:  Who Wins?

Even though I don’t think Arnold Schwarzenegger was a good, or even adequate, governor for the state of California, I think Donald Trump‘s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast were inappropriate. He chose to criticize Schwarzenegger over his ratings at this event, which I think was inappropriate given the nature of the event.

From the perspective of a person with a disability, I can say that Arnold Schwarzenegger was a terrible governor. During his term, he cut just about every service for the disabled (IHSS, Medi-Cal, the regional centers, etc.) that we depend on for our basic survival. I know because I was involved protesting his cuts. I even got arrested for committing civil disobedience at a protest against his cuts, in Sacramento in 2010.

Unfortunately, I think Donald Trump will be even worse when it comes to cutting services that the poor, disabled, and underprivileged depend on. I have a bad feeling that we are in for a very bad time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback to Donald Trump’s insults was a classic. So I thought I would share it with you, if you haven’t seen this particular video.

 

Scott Pruitt Has Flip-Flopped About Climate Change

Scott Pruitt, president Donald Trump’s nominee for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has flip-flopped about the issue of climate change.

Scott Pruitt Has Flip-Flopped About Climate Change

 Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has flip-flopped about the issue of climate change. He has clearly demonstrated over the years and throughout his confirmation hearing that he is not the person who should be the head of the EPA.

Scott Pruitt is allegedly closely tied to the oil and gas industry. In 2014, Scott Pruitt was caught in a secret alliance with members of the oil and gas industry in trying to tear down air pollution standards, even to the point of helping them file lawsuits against federal regulators. Scott Pruitt himself has personally filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency to undermine President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. How can the citizens of the United States entrust the protection of our environment to someone who has sued the agency responsible for protecting it? The answer is, they cannot.

Scott Pruitt has even defended the practice of fracking, the extremely dangerous practice used by the oil and gas industry to extract oil and gas from the earth, despite that this method has been shown to increase the number of greenhouse gasses released into the environment. Greenhouse gasses are the reason behind global warming and climate change.

Scott Pruitt seems to have changed his tune about climate change during his confirmation hearing.  During his hearing, Scott Pruitt now admits that climate change is real, but refused to acknowledge that human activity causes it, to which Senator Bernie Sanders called him out and tried to get him to answer the question about what causes global warming. Scott Pruitt then tried to engage Senator Sanders in an argument about to what degree human activity has on climate change, even though 97% of the scientific community agrees that human activity causes climate change. All he did was make himself look stupid and less qualified to be the administrator of the EPA.

In Scott Pruitt’s 2013 reelection campaign for Attorney General of Oklahoma, his campaign manager just happened to be a man named Harold Hamm, who happened to be the CEO of one of the largest fracking companies in Oklahoma. Recently, Mr. Hamm became one of the biggest proponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline because his business will be doing most of the fracking in North Dakota. If this is the type of person that Scott Pruitt chooses to be his campaign manager, is he as big of a believer in climate change as he says? I doubt it!

 

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Ban on Muslim Immigration Will Make Americans Less Safe

Ban on Muslim Immigration Will Make Americans Less Safe

On the CBS morning news, former Deputy Director of the CIA, Michael Morrell, says that Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim Immigration to the United States will put Americans in more danger from terrorists than they were before.  He makes some very valid points in this interview.

Mr. Morrell says that none of the terrorist attacks committed on US soil since 9/11, and including the attack on the World Trade Center, would have been addressed by a ban on Muslim Immigration.  He says that none of these attacks would have been stopped if this ban on Muslim Immigration had been in effect at that time.

He says that the ban on Muslim Immigration will be the perfect recruitment tool for Isis, and plays into their hands because it plays perfectly into their narrative about the United States.  Mr. Morrell says that this ban on Muslim Immigration will make Americans less safe than before because it will further inflame radical Islamic extremists and give them some credibility.

Mr. Morrell also says that this ban on Muslim Immigration will not address a serious problem that already exists;  85% of terrorist attacks on Muslim US soil were committed by American citizens.  He says that of nearly 100 people indicted for terrorism by the federal government, 85% were American citizens.  Mr. Morel says that this ban on Muslim Immigration would have no effect on that, and does not address this crucial issue.

During this interview, Mr. Morrell also addresses the appointment of Steve Bannon, White House advisor to Donald Trump, to the National Security Council, something which Mr. Morel considers to be unprecedented. It would stop the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from taking part in security briefings. He points out that this move would bring politics into a situation where it should not exist.

From a personal standpoint, the last thing I want is a white nationalist (a.k.a. white supremacist) be part of the security briefing. This change of protocol puts someone into a power position that should not even be part of the White House staff. Needless to say, Bannon will probably insert the same racist point of view against Muslims into these security briefings, that he did as editor-in-chief of Breitbart.

Bannon’s appointment to such an important position would be at the cost of the participation of the military because he would end the Joint Chiefs of Staff from having input into a situation where military expertise is crucial.  There is no way, members of the Trump administration should have this type of power that is unchecked by the military.

Since it is well-known that Steve Bannon has a racist point of view towards Muslims, he will most certainly tell President Trump that a ban on Muslim Immigration is a good idea, despite the fact that it has just the opposite effect that Donald Trump thinks it will.  Somewhere down the road, I would not be at all surprised if we were to find out that Steve Bannon was one of the chief proponents of the ban on Muslim Immigration to the United States.

At this crucial time, the last person that Trump needs to listen to is a white supremacist who has made no excuses for the fact that he hates Muslims.

 

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The Ridiculous Idea That Mexico Will Pay for the Wall

The idea that Mexico will pay for the wall on the Mexican border is one of the most ridiculous ideas that I have heard in quite a while.

The Ridiculous Idea That Mexico Will Pay for the Wall

The idea that Mexico will pay for the wall on the Mexican border is one of the ridiculous ideas that I have heard in quite a while. Donald Trump thinks he can force the Mexican people to pay for a wall along the Mexican border. That just goes to show how delusional the new POTUS is. He claims that this will solve the current immigration problem; something which I question is a real issue.

The reason I ask whether or not immigration is a problem is because of the way this country was created, and the way that we have always been taught that America was the “great melting pot.” The United States is made up of immigrants. Most people in this country had their origins in foreign countries. If it weren’t for immigration, we would not exist as a nation. I don’t look at it any differently for Mexican immigrants. They contribute their fair share of work and accomplishments, just like everyone else who is a member of our society.

Donald Trump seems to think that Mexican immigrants are taking away jobs from American workers. From my viewpoint, this is ridiculous and falsehood. Mexican immigrants are just like immigrants from everywhere else. They just want to come here to have a better life, just like my great-grandfather did when he came here from Denmark.

Mexican immigrants, at least from my viewpoint, seems to be doing the jobs that most American workers think they are “too good” to do. These people are the ones who do the farm labor, janitorial work, housekeeping, and childcare for people who work during the day. These types of menial jobs are not very sought after by most American workers.

Trump is just stirring up more trouble and inflaming whatever racist followers that he panders to. After all, he got elected to office because of the appeal to many people’s sense of racism and fear of Mexican immigrants. During his campaign, Trump angrily called Mexican immigrants killers and rapists. This tirade showed his racist feelings against Mexicans and pandered to the lowest common denominator that many people have racism.

The Mexican border won’t be any more secure with a wall built between the United States and Mexico. Also, the idea that Mexico will pay for a wall along the border with the United States is preposterous. What does Donald Trump think he can do to force them to pay? Is he delusional enough to think that he can just send an invoice to the Mexican government and that would just pay up?

 

More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S. | Pew Research …

Nov 19, 2015 Between 2009 and 2014, about 140000 more Mexican immigrants have returned to Mexico from the U.S. than have migrated here, citing family …
Donald Trump’s false comments connecting Mexican immigrants …

Jul 8, 2015 Trump can defend his statement all he wants, but the facts are just not there.

 

 

Scott Pruitt: Ties to Oil Industry Make Him Unfit For EPA

Scott Pruitt: Ties to Oil Industry Make Him Unfit For EPA

Scott Pruitt’s ties to oil industry make him an unfit candidate to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency. We cannot have someone who has been in the pockets of the oil industry for years. Scott Pruitt is unfit to be the head of EPA. He cannot be entrusted with protecting the environment.

Over the years, Scott Pruitt has received many campaign contributions from various oil and gas producers, such as Exxon and Devon Energy. Even more disturbing is that Scott Pruitt has received over $175,000 from the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a front group for the Koch Brothers. It is a well-known fact that the Koch brothers, owners of the Valero and Tesoro chain at gas stations have tried to undermine air pollution standards for years. They are both heads of one of the largest toxic pollution companies in the United States. How can anyone like Scott Pruitt be entrusted to protect our environment while being in the pockets of some of the largest polluters in the United States? The entire idea is ludicrous!

Scott Pruitt has also bragged on many occasions about his many lawsuits against the EPA; the agency hopes to be in charge of. How can anyone be allowed to be head of the EPA when they have an extensive history of litigation against that agency and its regulations? The fact that he was even nominated for this position is an insult to everyone who cares about our environment.

He has worked tirelessly on behalf of Devon Energy, Oklahoma’s largest energy producer by writing letters in the name of that corporation, claiming that the EPA was guilty of “federal overreach,” and the accusation that means that the federal government has overstepped its boundaries in trying to regulate the oil and gas industry. Regulating these industries is a primary reason that the EPA was created in the first place. How can someone who is so anti-regulation be in charge of an agency that is supposed to set up and enforce regulations?

If Scott Pruitt is confirmed to be the head of the EPA, our environment will suffer as well as the people who live in it.